There must be something in the air — because the Big Apple is back.
Manhattan apartment closings surged in the second quarter, with activity not only returning to pre-COVID-19 levels but in some cases surpassing it.
Luxury closings, in particular, saw an explosion — bringing the average resale price up 21% from just the prior quarter to its second-highest level ever, according to the latest Brown Harris Stevens market report.
On “Billionaires Row,” there were four resale closings, with an average price of $53.4 million at the notorious 220 Central Park South residential building alone.
“I have always maintained that NYC is the comeback queen… she bounced back from 9/11, the Lehman crash, and she’s doing it again in the wake of COVID,” BHS CEO Bess Freedman told The Post. “High vaccination rates and the reopening of museums, theaters, offices and restaurants have jolted life back into the city and people want to be here.”
Three-thousand-nine-hundred-forty-four sales reported last quarter were more than double that of a year ago, and 38% higher than 2021’s first quarter, the report stated.
“People who left during COVID are making their way back and want to take advantage of low interest rates,” Freedman explained.
Increased discount rates have also turned heads and brought buyers back into the market, with closings more than doubling compared to a year ago — and up 85% from 2021’s first quarter.
“Renters are becoming buyers, and we’re even seeing empty nesters selling their suburban single-family homes in favor of low maintenance apartments in the city,” Freedman said.
A shift in political dynamics with Mayor Bill de Blasio out the door come January has also marked a turn in the tide for some New Yorkers, who as The Post has reported, are excited to see him leave.
“Manhattan is a true opportunity market right now. We had a record number of signed contracts in Q2, which means a flood of closings are yet to come,” Freedman predicted. “The biggest threats right now to the city’s recovery are public safety and higher taxes, but I am hoping that politicians will enact sensible policy to help NYC continue to thrive.”
Additionally, a recent survey from the Partnership for New York City found that 62% of Manhattan’s 1 million office workers will be returning by September, compared to just 12% at the time of the survey in May.
“These returning workers will help support the restaurants and retail shops that make Manhattan such a great place to live,” Freedman explained in the report.